Walter Garbe photographs from Brazil
Digitized Content

Collection ID:
Garbe, Walter
Physical Description:
20 Photographic prints
19 Copy negatives
1 Lantern slide
This collection includes photographic prints, copy negatives, and one lantern slide made by Walter Garbe in 1909 among the Aimoré (Aymore, Aimboré) communities in the Doce River region of Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Photographic prints include P00622-P00641. Copy negatives include N11683, N13496, N34443-N34459. The copy negatives are copies of photographic prints from the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation (NMAI's predecessor museum). Lantern slides include L00081.
The photos produced in Espírito Santo were likely staged by Garbe, although do depict tasks that would've been part of daily routines, such as hunting and making fire.

Arranged by catalog number.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Walter Garbe, born circa 1882, was a German photographer who lived and worked in Brazil. He was the son of Ernest (Ernesto) Garbe (1853-1925), a German naturalist who worked for the Museu Paulista in São Paulo, Brazil from 1902 until his death in 1925. In 1906, Walter accompanied his father on an expedition to the region surrounding the Doce River. They began the journey at the Doce River's intersection with the border of Minas Gerais, followed it to Linhares, and then went on to Lagoa Juparanã. While the aims of this first expedition were exploration and collecting zoological specimen, Walter Garbe soon returned to the Doce River on his own. In 1909, he made multiple excursions to this region to take ethnographic photos and notes documenting the Aimoré (Aymore, Aimboré) communities in Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais. Garbe recorded information about the varying customs, clothing, food, and daily activities of these communities. Garbe also acquired several objects from the Aimoré, including flutes, weapons, and jewelry, to give to the Paulista Museum. In 1911, this collection of photographs was published with commentary in the Paulista Museum's magazine. The article, "Os botocudos do Rio Doce," was written by the Paulista Museum's director Herman von Ihering.
By the 1920s, Walter Garbe had become an established photographer. While Garbe was living in Santa Leopoldina in 1922, the city hired him to create cinematographic film of its waterfalls, rivers, city life, commercial endeavors (such as its transportation of coffee), and festivals. In 1923, Garbe continued to work as a photographer in Espírito Santo for the Secretary of Agriculture. From October 1932 to April 1933, Garbe joined Carlos Camargo and Olivério Pinto in an expedition to collect birds from Bahia and Madre de Deus. From 1928 to 1937, Garbe worked and possibly lived in São Paulo.
For more information on Walter Garbe, see "Os índios sob as lentes de Walter Garbe, em 1909" on Brasiliana Fotografica.

Processing Information
Processed by Mikaela Hamilton, Archives Center Intern, 2020.
Mikaela Hamilton
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession information currently unknown.

Digital Content
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Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Photographic prints P00626 and P00628 (and corresponding copy negatives N34447 and N34448) are restricted due to sensitive content.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center. Please submit a written request to For personal or classroom use, users are invited to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not modified in any way, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian. For more information please see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use and NMAI Archive Center's Digital Image request website.
Preferred Citation
Identification of specific item; 1909; Walter Garbe photographs from Brazil, image #, NMAI.AC.137; National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Additional photographs from this collection (including uncropped versions) exist online at Brasiliana Fotografica, Biblioteca Nacional (Brasil) under "Índios Botocudos."

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Brazil Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Santa Leopoldina (Brazil) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Espírito Santo (Brazil : State) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Minas Gerais (Brazil) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aimoré (Aymore, Aimboré) Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Museum of the American Indian
4220 Silver Hill Rd
Suitland 20746-2863